So far, Germany has been spared the sweltering heat that has been spreading in southern Europe for days. With the beginning of the week, the Federal Republic of Germany must now prepare for a sweat. On Tuesday, temperatures above 35 degrees will be reached, in the west up to 40 degrees, as the German weather service announced.
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It is also expected to remain hot in large parts of southern Europe. The highest heat warning level applies in western France, Italy expects another heat wave. In Portugal and Spain, on the other hand, the situation could slowly ease.
In view of the expected weather conditions, the Marburger Bund medical association is calling for a national heat protection plan and an information campaign. “Politicians must significantly expand their efforts for protective measures in heat phases,” said Susanne Johna, Chairwoman of the editorial network Germany (RND).
Cities and municipalities need heat protection plans so that senior citizens’ facilities or hospitals can better prepare for heat waves, “preferably regulated by a national heat protection plan,” Johna continues.
Concrete rules of conduct are also important, “for example through an information campaign by the Federal Agency for Civic Education”. “Further training courses on heat-related illnesses, the storage of medicines at the right temperature” or “building adaptations” are necessary, Johna explained.
The Verdi union is demanding relief for employees. “In extreme heat, we naturally demand longer breaks or an earlier end of work – heat-free – even if there is no legal entitlement to this,” said Norbert Reuter, head of the collective bargaining policy department at Verdi, the RND.
“Here, in consultation with the works council, regulations must then be made as to when the lost working hours can be made up for, if necessary,” Reuter continued. It is demanded that “all possibilities” of flextime regulations for shifting working hours be used, as they are already laid down in the technical rules for workplaces (ASR).
In addition to Germany, the high temperatures are now also approaching Great Britain, where for the first time ever there is a red weather warning for Monday and Tuesday due to heat. Up to 40 degrees are expected in large parts of England. The temperature record so far is 38.7 degrees. The government had declared a disaster because of the expected heat record.
France has also called on people in the country to be particularly careful in view of the expected rise in temperatures. The weather service Météo France imposed the highest red warning level for almost the entire French Atlantic coast and other western areas until Monday afternoon. Temperature records are almost certainly to be broken here.
With the persistent dry heat and strong winds, the fierce fight against two large forest fires continues south of Bordeaux. The situation worsened on Sunday afternoon. The fire at Teste-de-Buch reached the sea and blazed south from there. Changing winds caused the forest fire at Landiras to grow. So far, almost 13,000 hectares of land in the area have been burned. More than 16,000 people had to leave their homes for safety.
In addition to forest fires that flare up again and again, Italy is also suffering from the lack of rain. The farmers’ association Coldiretti warned on Sunday of crop losses of up to 70 percent in some areas. Fruit and vegetables are burning in the fields, it said in a statement. Varieties from peppers to melons, apricots, tomatoes and eggplants are affected. In Sicily and Sardinia, the authorities again raised the forest fire warning levels in some parts of the islands. In Sicily, the highest level three already applies locally.
The Greek fire brigade also continues to assess the risk of forest fires in many parts of the country as “very high”. On Monday, the Attica region with the capital Athens as well as the islands of Euboea, Crete, Lesbos and Samos and the north-east of the Peloponnese peninsula were particularly affected. The sometimes strong winds that blow in the Aegean Sea cause difficulties – they can heat up and drive an almost suffocated fire in no time at all.
About 30 forest fires were still active in Spain on Sunday evening. The fires have leveled tens of thousands of hectares in the past few days, as reported by the state television broadcaster RTVE, citing the various regional authorities. In Portugal, meanwhile, around a thousand emergency services were fighting 16 active forest fires on Sunday evening. According to the nature conservation agency ICNF, the flames in Portugal destroyed around 30,000 hectares of forest in just over a week.
In both countries on the Iberian peninsula, meanwhile, there was reason for hope in anticipation of falling temperatures. In Portugal, the government therefore did not want to extend the “Estado de contingência”, the third highest state of emergency, which expires on Monday, after a week.